In 2016 so much of that which has taken place could be best summed up as somewhat shit, leaving one in total bewilderment it sure hasn't been an easy one to digest. While on the music front things were mostly positive, this is one such release as Kai Hansen has recorded his first solo album XXX - Three Decades In Metal celebrating a successful career spanning over thirty years. There is no denying that the guitarist/vocalist has played an influential role in the metal genre, and how many can say they were a founding member of not one but two of the most successful names in European power metal? Especially with those bands being Helloween and Gamma Ray.
XXX - Three Decades In Metal features catchy melodic, potent, guitar driven heavy/power metal and more with guest appearances adding to the appeal on vocals and guitar such as Michael Kiske (Unisonic, ex-Helloween), Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear, ex-Gamma Ray), Piet Sielck (Iron Savior, ex-Savage Circus), Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween) and Michael Weikath (Helloween), (see the track list below for more). The core band consists of Kai Hansen on vocals/guitar along with guitarist Eike Freese (Dark Age), bass player Alexander Dietz (Heaven Shall Burn) and drummer Daniel Wilding (Carcass). Hansen looks back on his life kicking of with the classic metal rocker "Born Free" and tells of his birthplace and discovering music it is also the only track to feature solely his vocals. With standouts like "Born Free", "Enemies Of Fun", "Stranger In Time" and the longest of them all "Fire and Ice" tracks one through six are the strongest, after this things are a bit patchy yet despite this XXX - Three Decades In Metal is still a fun album.
1. Born Free
2. Enemies Of Fun (Ralf Scheepers & Piet Sielck)
3. Contract Sun (Dee Snider & Steve McT)
4. Making Headlines (Tobias Sammet)
5. Stranger In Time (Michael Kiske, Frank Beck, Tobias Sammet & Roland Grapow - guitar solo)
6. Fire And Ice (Clementine Delauney, Marcus Bischoff, Richard Sjunnesson & Michael Weikath - guitar solo)
7. Left Behind (Alexander Dietz & Clementine Delauney)
8. All Or Nothing (Clémentine Delauney)
9. Burning Bridges (Eike Freese)
10. Follow The Sun (Hansi Kürsch & Tim Hansen - guitar solo)